But it is in the further development of the world's railways that we must mainly look in the future, as in the past, for the support of our trade. In India the railway between Calcutta and Bombay was only completed in 1870, and at the present time, with a population of 250,000,000, it has less than 10,000 miles of railway, while the United States, with only 50,000,000, possesses more than 100,000 miles. In other words, the United States have fifty times as many miles of railway in relation to the population as India. Even Russia in Europe has 14,000 miles, or, in relation to its population, nearly five times as great a mileage as our Indian Empire; and the existing Indian railways are so successful pecuniarily, and give such promise of contributing to the wealth of the Indian people - or perhaps it would be more just to say, of rescuing them from their present state of poverty and depression - that it should be the aim of those who are responsible for the well-being of our great dependency to give to its railways the utmost and most rapid development.
As to the United States themselves, I look upon their railways as a little more than the main arteries from which an indefinitely large circulating system will branch out. Besides these countries I need only allude to the Dominion of Canada, whose vast territory bids fair to rival that of the United States in agricultural importance, to our Australian colonies, to Brazil, and other countries in which railways are still comparatively in their infancy, to show that, quite apart from the renewal of existing lines, the world's manufacture of rails has an enormous future before it.
I look on the excellent feeling which happily prevails between the employers and the workmen in our great industry as another of the most important elements of its future prosperity. It confers honor on all concerned that by our Boards of Conciliation and Arbitration, ruinous strikes, and even momentary suspensions of labor, are avoided; and still more that masters like our esteemed Treasurer, Mr. David Dale, should deserve, and that large bodies of workmen should have the manliness and discernment to bestow on him, the confidence implied in choosing him so frequently as an arbitrator. I believe that similar friendly relations exist in some, at any rate, of the other great centers of the iron and steel industries, and that although our methods may not be adapted to the habits of all, there is no country in which some way does not exist, or may not be found, to avoid those contests which were so fatal to our prosperity in former days. Lastly I regard as one of the most hopeful signs of the future the increased estimate of the value of science entertained by our practical men. In this respect we may claim with pride that the Iron and Steel Institute has been the pioneer, at any rate, so far as this country is concerned.
But the conviction that the elements of science should be placed within the reach of those who occupy a humbler position in the industrial hierarchy than we do who are assembled here is rapidly spreading among us. The iron manufacturers of Westphalia have been the first to found an institution in which the intelligent and ambitious ironworker can qualify himself by study for a higher position, and I hope when this Institute visits Middlesbrough in the autumn, some progress will have been made in that locality toward the establishment of a similar school. Other districts will doubtless follow, and the result will be, to quote the words of Sir W. Siemens on a late occasion, that "by the dissemination of science a higher spirit will take possession of our artisans; that they will work with the object of obtaining higher results, instead of only discussing questions of wages." It is on the mutual co-operation in this spirit of all the workers of every grade in our great craft that we may build the hope - nay, that we may even cherish the certain expectation - of placing it on even a higher eminence than that which it has already attained.